Nowadays, whomever I speak to seems to complain about a general feeling of demotivation and possible numbness to life. We have yet to name this exactly, but all that it can be attributed to it seems we can only call it pandemic fatigue. The feeling is as if we lost our mojo and our reason to push forward no longer seems to exist with the same prior drive. It is permeating into our emotional capacity.
Recently, a friend mentioned to me that she has started watching Turkish soap operas to remind herself of the diversity of emotions that exists, or at least once existed but seems not available anymore for this present state has us all feeling like we are living in the movie "Groundhog Day". (A note for the reader--Turkish soap operas can incite the best emotional experience of a roller coaster ride if you need a good laugh after a heavy cry). Most certainly, I can relate to all this, for even just yesterday, I was struck by the severity of this fatigue in 2 events I was a witness to and thus noticed how it sneakily diminishes motivation.
Firstly, my highly talented guitar student, capable of shredding a Slash/GunsNRoses solo, has been showing poor performances these last couple of months. She has been stuck on the same guitar riff that is quite playable for her for over a month. Obviously, this young lady is having difficulty finding the motivation to practice the instrument of her choosing and brought her such joy. It is not her guitar playing skills; it is this lack of inspiration that has crept in.
Then, I had a coaching session with a client who has shown progress through an inspiring shift in her mindset and her career goals. But yesterday, she began our session by questioning whether she should give up on her dream field and everything else, all the plans and effort she placed in achieving this. As I heard her speak, inside, I was shouting, "Wait! What?!!!" but from the outside, I was trying to stay calm, since I am her coach, I can not judge and manipulate any of her decisions. I felt that I did not understand her reasons very well. There were so many emotions, and then I saw the pandemic as being a culprit as she continued to speak. She went on to say that she couldn't see her family since this pandemic started, which is a heartache that I feel daily. She was tired, missed the human connections with loved ones, and was about to make a drastic decision.
Sadly, I can keep going with similar cases, and you may relate to all this yourself. So, what do you do about it? I can tell you one thing, feeling demotivated is a symptom of the accumulation of solid emotions, events, and routines that may be out of your control, and sometimes we are being called to do a quick pulse check to interrupt the reverse flow of events. We must acknowledge what we feel and thus begin our journey back out from under the gray clouds.
During this period, the best thing to do is to show endless love and compassion to ourselves. Knowing this experience is felt by others as well and reviving that internal motivation by taking care of yourself. As in the “Groundhog Day” movie, Phil (Bill Murray) freed himself from living the same day over and over by accepting his situation as a blessing and dedicating his time to help others and his growth.
Below you will find a list of small exercises that will bring back the mojo, the joyeux de vivre, the spark, or whatever you may want to call it.
1- Start the new day with exercise and meditation. Our physiology influences our mood, and our physical body is the most available tool to boost motivation
2- Clarify your priorities to find meaning and purpose related to your goals regularly.
3- Start small and focus on small wins. Give yourself rewards after each achievement.
4- Ask for help and share your struggles with your circle of connections. Connect with people who have positive effects on you.
5- Integrate fun and joy moments as your daily routines. Those moments will boost your happiness which will trigger your motivation.
6- Be compassionate to yourself and give intentional breaks. Care for yourself!